Jill Craigie (1949) Cinema Museum, London

A-Level Film Studies teaching pack: Women Documentary Filmmakers

As part of the Jill Craigie: Film Pioneer project, we’ve compiled a pack exploring the work of women documentary filmmakers for A-Level Film Studies teachers. The pack provides extension activities and resources for teaching Section B: Documentary Film on the WJEC Eduqas specification and has been developed in collaboration with teachers.

The resource draws on our research on Jill Craigie’s filmmaking career and features extracts from our biographical documentary, Independent Miss Craigie (Lizzie Thynne, 2021). In light of possible need for online teaching resources, every effort has been made to include online materials for independent learning or home schooling.

The pack contains clips and timecodes, discussion points and extension activities designed to provide context for the study of women documentary filmmakers on the A level WJEC Eduqas specification but should be of value to other Film and Media Studies courses. The resource focuses on Sarah Polley, Clio Barnard and Kim Longinotto and contains the following three sections:

  • Life Stories

Aim: Learners gain knowledge of women filmmakers, biography and approaches to documentary – as context for studying Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012) [or alternatively The Arbor]

  • Documentary/Fiction

Aim: Learners gain knowledge of the history of British documentary filmmaking – as context for studying The Arbor (Clio Barnard, 2010), focusing on its blurring of boundaries between documentary and fiction

  • Women’s Rights

Aims: Learners gain knowledge of the history of women’s rights and feminist documentary filmmaking in Britain – as context for studying Sisters in Law (Kim Longinotto, 2005) and Longinotto’s approaches to documentary

Please write to Dr Hollie Price ( if you would like to receive a copy of the pack with the accompanying film extracts from Independent Miss Craigie.

We would value your feedback on these resources and your experience of using the clips and activities in class. It would be very much appreciated if you could fill in the following survey based on your experiences – we’d love to hear from you.

We hope the pack proves useful in your teaching about women’s film history!

Jill Craigie’s scrapbook for her film Out of Chaos (1944) LSE Women’s Library